UAE Tour 2023 – Stage 2 (TTT)

A team time trial.


Pan flat and not very technical. One right turn at the start, two U-turns and another right turn before the line in Khalifa Port. It doesn’t get much more easy than that. That suits specialists and the big engines can also help out a lot, as it is very simple.


First team should be down the ramp at 13:35 local time, and the last team should be finished at 15:30. A very short margin. Everyone will have the same conditions.


QuickStep – Evenepoel, Cerny and Schmid as the stronger TT riders, with Merlier, Sierry and Lerberghe to be the three riders in question. They are not TT riders, but they are strong riders on the flat. Evenepoel, Cerny and Schmid can do most of it themselves, but they will have to bring on of the other three to the line with them.

Bahrain – Victorious – one of the stronger teams in the wind today. Bilbao, Arndt, Miholjevic and Price-Pejtersen as the strongest four, with Bauhaus and Govekar as the two big engines that potentially could do very well too. I think they will be a podium contender for tomorrow.

INEOS Grenadiers – Plapp, Tulett, Tarling and Viviani possibly as the best four. Wurf has not really been able to deliver any good result against the clock in five years. Viviani has track background and back in 2019, he proved TTT is a strong discipline for him. Swift and Heiduk are only strong riders. With that team, they should aim for the stage win.

Lotto-Dstny – two riders with track records, Ewan and Guarnieri. Then De Gendt, Selig, Schwarzmann and Drizners. It is a team with a lot of big riders – I think they can be a darkhorse for a top-5.

Jayco-AlUla – another team with a lot of strong riders too, another team that will lurk for a top-5.

UAE Team Emirates – really missed the splits today. Soler, Yates, Vine, Bjerg and McNulty are five strong riders. Molano with a past on the track too. Overall, a very strong team with Bjerg, Vine and McNulty being really good TT riders and having three more riders, who all should perform well too.

Who will win?

TTT’s are not my specialty to predict. I think it is a battle between four teams, Quick-Step, Bahrain-Victorious, INEOS and UAE. I think the strongest four are at INEOS, while the width are at UAE Team Emirates. I will take a win for INEOS.

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